Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Web's Influence Does Not Stop Within Traditional Retail

This is an cool study that sheds some light on the fact that nearly industry segment is affected by online research. So even the most traditional sale channels need to take heed to this consumer behavior.
Web converts more tire kickers to buyers at Hyundai dealer

Visitors who fill out an information-request form on Coastal Hyundai’s web site convert to buyers at a 22% rate, compared to about 16% for those who walk into the showroom, Wade Wahy, Internet sales manager for the Melbourne, FL, car dealer says.

“The Internet is definitely taking the lead in bringing customers to the dealership,” he says.

Coastal Hyundai, whose web site is hosted by, uses search marketing as well as traditional TV and print ads to bring consumers to its web site, “The web makes traditional marketing more effective because we get an instant response from consumers who log onto our site after seeing a TV or print ad,” Wahy says.

The site lets them view current inventory and fill out online forms for more information, engage in live chat with Wahy or other sales people, and e-mail questions that get forwarded to Wahy’s cell phone. Customers can also order parts online and have them shipped along with the bill to their home address. In some cases, buyers go through the process of choosing a car, applying for financing and arranging a pick-up date completely online, then show up at the dealer to pick up the keys and sign final papers, Wahy says.

Coastal Hyundai is considering other web site features such as online comparisons of different makes and models of cars, and it may eventually offer an online shopping cart to let customers complete purchase transactions online for parts or even vehicles, Wahy adds.

The web doesn’t replace in-person customer service, however. It enhances it, Wahy says, by providing more options for communicating with and serving customers and prospects. And that keeps them engaged and more likely to complete a purchase, he adds.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Groceries, Home Furnishings & Clothing Are Among The Top Categories Of Items That Consumers Prefer To Buy In Store

eMarketer is on a serious role lately in regards to pumping out the reports on how internet users are using the web to guide their in store and online purchases. Most of the below findings are not that shocking, but one in particular stood out to me. Specifically how women use online sites to research items ahead of time before going in store to buy. Other item categories that show bright points are appliances, groceries, cosmetics and of course electronics.
Cross-Channel Sales Suit Online Apparel
September 5, 2007

Finding the proper fit for Web shoppers.

How can shoppers get a sense of how clothes feel? The answer for most shoppers is simple: Go to the store. A January 2007 Accenture survey found that two-thirds of online consumers prefer to buy clothing in stores rather than online.

"Apparel is a big cross-channel shopping category," said eMarketer senior analyst Jeffrey Grau. "Traditional retailers who understand the consumer purchase process will develop strategies for driving online shoppers to their stores."

Despite a preference for buying apparel in stores, many online consumers like to research their prospective purchases on the Internet.

In fact, the apparel category is second only to electronics in the percentage of adult online consumers who practice this form of cross-channel behavior, according to a 2006 holiday season survey conducted by BIGresearch on behalf of the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association.

All together, 32% of online consumers indicated they had cross-channel-shopped apparel versus 51% of online electronics shoppers. Shopping across channels for apparel was most prevalent among female online consumers (36%).